Zimmermann came close to being perfect, pitching seven innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out a season-high nine batters. But he made two mistakes that cost him, and both came in the third inning. Zimmermann allowed a leadoff walk to Joc Pederson, who advanced to second on a groundout by Jose Peraza.
Zimmermann, trying to hold Pederson at second, balked while rushing a pitch to Carl Crawford. Crawford, given a risk-free swing when he heard the balk call, took a hack and singled down left-field line, scoring Pederson. It turns out, Zimmerman paid too much attention to Pederson.
"You teach the young players that if the umpires call a balk, go ahead and swing. It's a free swing, and Crawford was able to get one down the line," Nationals manager Matt Williams said.
Zimmermann said he rushed the pitch and home-plate umpire Dan Iassogna called the balk.
"Obviously, I never should have thrown the pitch. Nothing good comes out of that," he said. "I did, and Crawford was able to get the base hit."